America, as all countries today, is undergoing a vast amount of change; however there exists a hopefully small number of individuals within our country who in essence mistakenly subscribe to the notion “the Bush doctrine on terror” was correct and righteous, which includes the use of torture to obtain supposed Intel information.
I believe our President is taking the right steps, as he promised during his campaign to “right the wrongs” of our country’s past eight years of injustice regarding our treatment of combative detainees. First by releasing the Bush Administration’s memos condoning torture (listed here and here also here), which he followed up by insuring his release would not produce a witch hunt (as some want) by traveling to CIA’s Headquarters and assuring employees individual prosecution would not be presumed and finally, most importantly turned the entire matter over to our Justice Department and directly to Eric Holder, the Attorney General.
On this past Wednesday (22 Apr 09) an article in the Washington Post, authored by Craig Whitlock, of Washington Post’s Foreign Service Department and entitled: “European Nations May Investigate Bush Officials Over Prisoner Treatment” confirms my beliefs by the following excerpt:
On Tuesday, Obama for the first time raised the possibility of creating a bipartisan commission to examine the Bush administration’s handling of terrorism suspects. He also said he would leave it up to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to determine whether to prosecute senior officials who approved waterboarding and other tactics.
This was further confirmed in a statement published by the American Civil Liberties Union, entitled: “Attorney General Holder Says He Will “Follow The Law” And Investigate Torture” where the following excerpt stated:
Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the Justice Department will “follow the law wherever it takes us” in investigating the U.S. officials behind the CIA torture policies under the Bush administration.
Europe, you have every obligation and right to legally pursue whatever action you feel is appropriate, but please let our present administration do what they can to correct these past “wrongs”; in our way of first and let America reestablish itself under the “Rule of Law”.
The people who authorized Bush’s torture program shouldn’t get off scot-free. It’s time for Attorney General Holder to appoint an independent special prosecutor.
Update 23 Apr 09:
Clinton Questions Cheney’s Credibility: “I Don’t Consider Him A Particularly Reliable Source Of Information”
Huffington Post | Nicholas Graham
The sensitive topic of the release of the torture memos came to the forefront when Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacker asked Clinton if she agreed with Dick Cheney’s request that documents ostensibly showing the efficacy of the torture programs should be declassified. Clinton ultimately replied that she believes “we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter” and that it “is in the best interest of our country” to do so, but not before she took a shot at Cheney’s credibility, saying “I don’t consider him to be a particularly reliable source of information.”
Update 24 Apr 09:
Torture and the Problem of Constitutional Evil: The Way Forward
Howard Schweber: Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
A year ago, in a blog post at Balkinization.com, Mark Graber discussed John Yoo’s role as an example of what he has called “the problem of Constitutional Evil.” Graber’s point is that the assumption that anything that is “evil” is therefore contrary to the dominant understanding of the Constitutional is simply wrong. This is not an argument he makes lightly; Graber is the author of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil, a magisterial work that makes the case in historical context; orthodox, authoritative, widely accepted understandings of the Constitution may nonetheless permit actions that deserve to be described as “evil.”
A Quarter Million Americans Demand Torture Prosecutions
from ACLU Newsroom
WASHINGTON — A broad coalition of advocacy groups today will deliver petitions containing a quarter million signatures to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that he appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s use of torture on terrorism suspects. The petitions were gathered by the American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn.org Political Action, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Firedoglake.com, Democrats.com and other advocacy groups. The petitions will be delivered during Holder’s testimony before a House Appropriations Subcommittee.
Holder: No Torture Memo “Hide And Seek”
Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Thursday he won’t play “hide and seek” with secret memos about harsh interrogations of terror suspects and their effectiveness.
What if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Had Died?
Cenk Uygur | Host of The Young Turks
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. We practiced sleep deprivation on him for 11 straight days. I don’t know how many times we smashed his head against a wall, slapped him in the face, put him in a stress position in a freezing room and/or put him in a coffin sized box in extreme heat. But the right-wing argues that it doesn’t matter because none of this is torture. They are adamant in saying that it is not even open to interpretation.
Update 25 Apr 09:
NEW YORK – A federal judge today rejected the CIA’s attempt to withhold records relating to the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted the harsh interrogation of CIA prisoners. The ACLU is seeking disclosure of these records as part of its pending motion to hold the CIA in contempt for destroying the tapes which violated a court order requiring it to produce or identify records responsive to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records relating to the treatment of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.
Update 27 Apr 09:
Torture Debate Follows Holder To Europe
The Obama administration says it won’t look backward in the debate over harsh interrogations. On Attorney General Eric Holder’s first stop in Europe this week, he looked back centuries, visiting a historic torture site.